Interpreting Eden


By: Poythress, Vern


ISBN: 9781433558733

4 in stock

A Guide to Faithfully Reading and Understanding Genesis 1-3 

How can we faithfully read and understand the first three chapters of the Bible?  Exploring implications related to divine authorship, historical background, genre and structure, chronology, and more, Vern S. Poythress offers basic interpretive principles, outlines the exegetical concerns that lead some scholars astray, and interprets Genesis 1-3 as a larger whole.  Interpreting Eden emphasizes foundational interpretive and hermeneutical principles rather than attempting to be a verse-by-verse commentary.

“This is not the usual book on Genesis 1–3. It takes up many of the same problems other books do (such as the length of the creation days), but it expects you to think much harder about them than you were expecting to. Perhaps, for example, you might approach this book looking for arguments defending literal interpretation. Well, Poythress will tell you that the term literal has at least five meanings, so theses about literal versus figurative interpretation generally need more careful formulation than we usually give them. But none of these careful distinctions has the aim of compromising the inerrancy of Scripture as God’s Word. Indeed, you will emerge from this book with a greater sense of how Genesis really is the Word of God. Indeed, you will learn much about how, as Poythress says, we should ‘read the Word of God in the presence of God.’ This is how biblical and linguistic expertise ought to be used in expounding the Bible.”  ~ John M. Frame (Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary)

“This new book by Vern Poythress is a remarkably wise and comprehensive analysis of multiple recent approaches to interpreting Genesis 1–3. Drawing on several decades of detailed biblical research, Poythress effectively answers modern views that simplistically attribute ‘scientific error’ to Genesis, and he demonstrates convincingly that Genesis 1–3 must be understood as prose narrative that purports to describe actual events, not as fictional or allegorical literature. But he also wisely cautions against ‘overinterpreting’ Genesis 1–3 by claiming that it contains scientific information that was not the intention of either its human or divine author. Highly recommended!”  ~  Wayne Grudem (Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary)